OREMUS: 12 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jan 11 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 12
Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Lord our God,
you dwell in unapproachable light,
pure Essence and Perfection of Being!
Self-existent, Necessary, Infinite and Eternal!
You comprehend within yourself
all nature, all wisdom, all justice,
all goodness, all truth and all holiness.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 62

For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will you assail me to crush me,
   all of you together,*
 as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
They seek only to bring me down
   from my place of honour;*
 lies are their chief delight.
They bless with their lips,*
 but in their hearts they curse.
For God alone my soul in silence waits;*
 truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,*
 my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my safety and my honour;*
 God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O people,*
 pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath,*
 even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
On the scales they are lighter than a breath,*
 all of them together.
Put no trust in extortion;
   in robbery take no empty pride;*
 though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
God has spoken once, twice have I heard it,*
 that power belongs to God.
Steadfast love is yours, O Lord,*
 for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;*
 my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
   as in a barren and dry land where there is no water;
Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place,*
 that I might behold your power and your glory.
For your lovingkindness is better than life itself;*
 my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live*
 and lift up my hands in your name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness,*
 and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed,*
 and meditate on you in the night watches.
For you have been my helper,*
 and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.
My soul clings to you;*
 your right hand holds me fast.

Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, when I complain;*
 protect my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,*
 from the mob of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongue like a sword,*
 and aim their bitter words like arrows,
That they may shoot down the blameless from ambush;*
 they shoot without warning and are not afraid.
They hold fast to their evil course;*
 they plan how they may hide their snares.
They say, 'Who will see us?
   who will find out our crimes?*
 we have thought out a perfect plot.'
The human mind and heart are a mystery;*
 but God will loose an arrow at them,
   and suddenly they will be wounded.
He will make them trip over their tongues,*
 and all who see them will shake their heads.
Everyone will stand in awe and declare God's deeds;*
 they will recognise his works.
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
   and put their trust in him,*
 and all who are true of heart will glory.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 34:1–24]:

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them. 

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them. 

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 

As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? 

Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken. 

HYMN 
Words: Augustus Montague Toplady, (1740-1778)
Tune: Celeste

A debtor to mercy alone,
of covenant-mercy I sing;
nor fear, with thy righteousness on,
my person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
with me can have nothing to do;
my Savior's obedience and blood
hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which his goodness began,
the arm of his strength will complete;
his promise is Yes and Amen
and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
nor all things below and above,
can make him his purpose forego
or sever my soul from his love.

My name from the palms of his hands
eternity will not erase;
impressed on his heart it remains
in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure
as sure as the earnest is given;
more happy, but not more secure,
the glorified spirits in heaven.

SECOND READING [Romans 3:19–31]:

 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. 

Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. 

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus,
born in pain, struggling towards life, fighting for breath;
born in shame, 
born to the threat of Herod(s sword; 
fleeing to another country, another home;
wrapped in a young girl(s love, placed in a borrowed bed;
We pray for those we know and love;
for all who suffer pain of body or anguish of mind;
for all who struggle to live, to live well, to live better;
for all who burn with shame,
for all who face threat and danger,
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for warravaged countries and refugees;
for the starving poor;
for battered wives and abused children;
for the homeless, for the mentally ill;
for those who struggle with disability.
Strengthen us to work for peace on the earth 
and peace with the earth.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Church,
especially the Diocese of
Keep us faithful that we may bear faithful witness in word and work
to your presence among us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are alone.
May our love reach out to the lonely and brokenhearted,
the bereaved, and all for whom life has become something to be endured.
May we open our minds, hearts and homes to those around us.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

And we pray for our own needs:
seeking the grace of your presence,
firming our resolve to behave as we believe;
seeking your courage to reconcile, heal and make new;
seeking a sure vision of your coming kingdom.
We pray to you, O God:
Hear our prayer.

To you we come, O Lord,
the true goal of all human desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty,
gentle protector, strong deliverer;
in the night you are our confidence:
from first light be our joy. Amen.
		
Pour into our hearts, O God, 
the Holy Spirit's gift of love, 
that we. clasping each the other's hand, 
may share the joy of friendship, 
human and divine, 
and with your servant Aelred 
draw many to your community of love; 
through Jesus Christ the Righteous,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
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The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is based on a prayer by Susanna Wesley and the closing sentence is Psalm 72:18-19, NRSV

The second collect is reprinted by permission from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd Edition, (c) 1980, The Church Pension Fund.

Aelred was born at Hexham in 1109. His father was a priest and he entered the Cistercian Order at Rievaulx in about 1133, after spending some years in the court of King David of Scotland. He became Abbot of Revesby in 1143 and returned to Rievaulx four years later to become abbot and to spend the remainder of his life. He was profoundly influential through his spiritual writings, which he began at the request of Bernard of Clairvaux, the two having a similar approach to the spiritual life. Because of this, Aelred was often called "The Bernard of the North". He died on this day at Rievaulx in 1167. [Exciting Holiness]


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